mdh.sePublications
Change search
CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • harvard1
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf
Coping with decisions on deviations in complex product development projects
Mälardalen University, School of Innovation, Design and Engineering. (Produktrealisering)
2012 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

A strong need for resource efficiency within manufacturing companies have been driven extensively through pro-active planning and methods which have naturally resulted in an increased amount of strong couplings between product development projects, their activities, and resources. These strong couplings mean a high level of complexity where deviations are likely to occur on a regular basis which can spread quickly and have far reaching consequences. Praxis related to treatment of such deviations in product development projects has not been widely discussed. The subsequent question is therefore How are decisions on managing deviations made in practice?

A Practice approach has been adopted in this research and led on to the use of context sensitive research methods in order to collect relevant data. The main amount of data has been gathered through one year of participant observations and document retrieval in a product development project. Also, a large amount of interviews have been used as a method for collecting data.

38 deviations have been analysed through the identification of praxis which has been primarily analysed by three theories. The first theory, decision roles, has been used to clarify the different types of uncertainties people within complex product development projects need to manage in practice. The second theory, loosely coupled systems, shows how temporary organizing by loose couplings enables parallel management of both planned and unplanned activities when deviations occur. The third theory, Sensemaking, have been used to characterise processes related to different types of uncertainties.

Conclusions are drawn regarding how people acts related to deviations are directly dependent on the types of uncertainties of the context as well as the situation itself. Uncertainties regarding choices, responsibilities, mobilization, and legitimization combined with the temporary organization leads to certain praxis patterns. The patterns can be used by project managers and other decision makers as a way of discussing temporary organization and how process emerge within the organization today, and how they would like resulting processes to be managed when deviations occur.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Västerås: Mälardalen University , 2012.
Series
Mälardalen University Press Dissertations, ISSN 1651-4238 ; 112
National Category
Engineering and Technology
Research subject
Innovation and Design
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:mdh:diva-13224ISBN: 978-91-7485-049-9 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:mdh-13224DiVA: diva2:452763
Public defence
2012-01-20, Raspen, Smedjegatan 37, Mälardalens högskola, Eskilstuna, 10:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Funder
XPRES - Initiative for excellence in production research
Available from: 2011-10-31 Created: 2011-10-31 Last updated: 2012-12-21Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. Managing the Unexpected in a Multi-project Environment
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Managing the Unexpected in a Multi-project Environment
2011 (English)In: The R&D Management Conference 2011: R&D, Sustainability & Innovation - the need for new ideas, initiatives and alliances. / [ed] Berggren, C. & Magnusson, T., 2011Conference paper, (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

The aim of this paper is to present the results from a case study aimed at answering the following research question: How are decisions on managing deviations in a highly interrelated project made in practice?

The results are based on analysis of a single case study of a complex system development project, interrelated with eight other projects. It reveals the development team’s efforts to make sense of, and decisions on, deviating situations. The analysis reveals the characteristics of the sensemaking processes related to the consequences of the decision processes. This research contributes enhanced knowledge of how project managers cope with deviation in order to reach informed decisions involving four different types of sensemaking and four types of decision consequences. The results of this research can be used by project managers or other decision makers within product development to reflect upon how to manage unexpected deviations, proactively as well as reactively.

Keyword
Product development, deviation, decision-making, practice, sensegiving, and sensemaking.
National Category
Engineering and Technology
Research subject
Innovation and Design
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:mdh:diva-13220 (URN)978-0-9559367-3-9 (ISBN)
Conference
R&D Management 2011, June 28 - 30, 2011, Norrköping, Sweden.
Funder
XPRES - Initiative for excellence in production research
Available from: 2011-10-31 Created: 2011-10-31 Last updated: 2012-10-08Bibliographically approved
2. Coping with deviation and decision-making
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Coping with deviation and decision-making
2011 (English)In: 18th INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON ENGINEERING DESIGN, ICED11: Impacting society through engineering design / [ed] Culley S.J., Copenhagen: Design Society , 2011, 429-440 p.Conference paper, (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Structured models, such as gated models, are used in order to manage the complexity of the multiproject environment. The aim in following these prescriptive models creates strong interrelationships of activities in the projects. The project system becomes sensitive to unexpected events that can influence the system negatively. When managing a project in a highly-interrelated project environment, it is not possible to anticipate every possible external influence on the project.

Deviations from the planned operations are inevitable but teams rarely get credited for the skilled way in which they manage to cope with these unexpected events.

The research in this paper investigates how decisions are made in practice regarding managing these deviations. A project-as-practice approach has been used for studying praxis on a micro-level in a project and to capture contextual circumstances.

Results show how these praxes correspond to four different consequences of decisions and reveal the decision strategy used to manage the deviation. The characteristic of the decision-making process is described using the Garbage-Can model in order to highlight distinctive features of managing deviations.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Copenhagen: Design Society, 2011
Keyword
Deviation, practice, decision-making, Garbage-Can model, and project-as-practice.
National Category
Engineering and Technology
Research subject
Innovation and Design
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:mdh:diva-13219 (URN)978-190467021-6 (ISBN)
Conference
18th International Conference on Engineering Design, ICED 11;Copenhagen;15 August 2011 through 18 August 2011
Funder
XPRES - Initiative for excellence in production research
Available from: 2011-10-31 Created: 2011-10-31 Last updated: 2012-10-08Bibliographically approved
3. MANAGING DEVIATIONS IN EARLY PHASES
Open this publication in new window or tab >>MANAGING DEVIATIONS IN EARLY PHASES
2011 (English)In: IAMOT 2011 Proceedings, 2011Conference paper, (Refereed)
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:mdh:diva-12359 (URN)
Conference
International Association for Management of Technology
Available from: 2011-05-30 Created: 2011-05-30 Last updated: 2011-10-31
4. Decisions on managing project deviations in practice
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Decisions on managing project deviations in practice
(English)In: International Journal of Project Organisation and Management, ISSN 1740-2891Article in journal (Refereed) Submitted
Abstract [en]

This paper presents the results of a case study aimed at investigating how decisions are made on managing deviations in complex product development projects. The results are based on the analysis of data collected from participant observations, as well as interviews with project managers from seven large manufacturing companies. The data is analysed according to four types of sensemaking processes. This research examines why these processes are used in different situations and further explore their characteristics and at their relationship with the different roles decisions play in organizations. The factors driving controlled and uncontrolled sensemaking are also examined. This research contributes to knowledge of how project managers use different praxes to manage deviations in complex, socially and politically sensitive environments. The results can be used by decision makers within complex product development in order to assist them in managing deviations, proactively as well as reactively.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Inderscience Publishers
Keyword
Project management, Deviation, practices, decision-making, sensemaking, complex product development.
National Category
Engineering and Technology
Research subject
Innovation and Design
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:mdh:diva-13222 (URN)
Available from: 2011-10-31 Created: 2011-10-31 Last updated: 2015-06-29
5. Decision-Focused Product Development Process Improvements
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Decision-Focused Product Development Process Improvements
2009 (English)In: Proceedings of the 17th International Conference on Engineering Design (ICED'09), Vol. 1: Design Processes / [ed] Norell Bergendahl, M.; Grimheden, M.; Leifer, L.; Skogstad, P.; Lindemann, U., 2009, 37-48 p.Conference paper, (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Currently, there is little or no methodology or methods available to "process improvers" in product development which focus on decision-making fundamentals in order to improve the performance of decision-making within the product development process. In order to support product development process improvements, it is important to develop knowledge about how the collaborative decisionmaking process can be viewed holistically and include its relation to performance aspects. The objective of this research is to investigate what elements characterize a collaborative decisionmaking system and what enables the management of the system. The research investigates these two aspects through a literature review and a case study at a large Swedish company. A Rich Picture is developed in order to clarify the relationship between fundamental decision-making aspects, performance, the process levels, and the product development organization. The descriptive case study identifies what actors consider to affect collaborative decision-making and exposes the competencies needed in order to manage the collaborative decision-making process.

National Category
Engineering and Technology
Research subject
Innovation and Design
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:mdh:diva-9130 (URN)000301952000004 ()978-1-904670-05-6 (ISBN)
Conference
17th International Conference on Engineering Design Location: Stanford Univ, Stanford, CA Date: AUG 24-27, 2009
Funder
XPRES - Initiative for excellence in production research
Available from: 2010-03-03 Created: 2010-03-03 Last updated: 2013-08-27Bibliographically approved
6. A Proposal for a Mindset of a Project Manager
Open this publication in new window or tab >>A Proposal for a Mindset of a Project Manager
2008 (English)In: Proceedings of NordDesign 2008 / [ed] Roosimölder, Lembit, 2008, 120-130 p.Conference paper, (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

A company's product strategy and its management of the product development process have been found to be key factors for a product's success on the market. Project managers of development projects need support to make process decisions and defining goals that are consistent with the business's goals while bearing in mind the ability of the development team to deliver a product to the market that satisfies the customer’s expectations and needs. Uncertainty is a part of the product development project’s nature, which according to Simon is ill-structured, explorative and pragmatic. In product development projects it is desirable to reduce the level of uncertainty in order to make decisions without having to redo them later in the project resulting in longer lead time and higher costs. It is the project manager’s responsibility to manage this uncertainty in a complex ever-changing project environment. However, this research shows that there is unnecessary uncertainty in planning and controlling decisions when project changes occur. The uncertainty is manifested in not considering performance aspects of the project and the product in a wider organisational context. Visualization and clarification of decision situations and consequences is rarely used in practice and structured reasoning about project and product performance when making decisions is also rare. In order to enhance the project managers’ understanding of decision-making in product development projects, the objective of this paper is to propose a mindset for clarification of decision situations when changes has occurred. The proposed mindset is supposed to aid project managers when handling project changes by reducing complexity in project planning and supporting the articulation of uncertainties.

National Category
Engineering and Technology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:mdh:diva-9135 (URN)000260990100012 ()2-s2.0-84859894046 (Scopus ID)978-9985-59-840-5 (ISBN)
Conference
NordDesign 2008, The 7'th international NordDesign conference - 7, 2008, Tallinn, Estonia
Projects
xpres
Funder
XPRES - Initiative for excellence in production research
Available from: 2010-03-03 Created: 2010-03-03 Last updated: 2013-12-04Bibliographically approved

Open Access in DiVA

Kappa(3958 kB)906 downloads
File information
File name FULLTEXT03.pdfFile size 3958 kBChecksum SHA-512
520432adf419224fe4bbe60e2e5a4594860b14eb04da1a084a17a5e10dfb6d1c9a6810501f97b14878044358c270e55cae6e1c0d2b8ef6292e933fa602876094
Type fulltextMimetype application/pdf

Search in DiVA

By author/editor
Eriksson, Joakim
By organisation
School of Innovation, Design and Engineering
Engineering and Technology

Search outside of DiVA

GoogleGoogle Scholar
Total: 935 downloads
The number of downloads is the sum of all downloads of full texts. It may include eg previous versions that are now no longer available

Total: 856 hits
CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • harvard1
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf